Black Markets

Cocreator’s New Corn is hurting. You wouldn’t know by watching the markets. It’s brown above ground. If I peel away the mushy browning leaf that was the first out of the ground it looks like the whorl is still green going down into the soil. I’m glad I have only sixty acres of April planted corn. That may mean I only have sixty acres left to plant to corn. Well technically replant. But if it dies as soon as you can row it coming up it’s hard to call it a replant. We had two good hard frosts back to back. Everything already emerged has turned brown. Rumors in town are the corn that was put in real early and had from three to five leaves on it has turned black down in the whorl. That’s quite a few acres around this immediate area. What if the first nineteen percent needs replanted? Who would have thought yellow corn was not that bad. We like to see nice green rows by now. Are the markets watching? Push that price back into the black.

I finished up fixing pasture fences here at home yesterday and turned the herd into the strip of grass across the creek. That should tide them over for a few days as the rest rests. I’d say regrow but with the cold maybe that’s too optimistic. I’ll have time to fix the fences up north of I-80. I want to move my young cattle without calves up there to relieve a little pressure on the pastures here at home. The young girls at least. The rest of the bulls will need to go to the sale barn if they are cleaning up nice. They’ve all started to perk up since the grass greened up. I don’t like to sell them unless they look like something I’d like to buy. That goes for most things. That doesn’t guarantee other folks will want to buy them. I still like the red cattle but most herds around here have turned black. Slowly but surely. It’s the in color. Blame Madison Avenue’s Black Angus promotion. We may have the smallest herd in sixty three years but they might be the most black. The markets are watching. Lot of black in that market.

I may get some beans in the ground this next week. As we approach June we should be getting free of frost dangers. Beans that are up freeze right off. Once the soybeans emerge their growing points emerge with them. One good cold snap and they are done. Frostbit. Turned to black. We do have other risks after frost. Lots of them. Maybe the biggest risk is from hail. In 1991 I lost a crop here at home to a hail storm June 1st. Incidentally, the same field that’s now turned brown. I have both all risk and hail on beans so both policies pay me to replant. I can actually make a profit on that operation alone. In 1991 I called in the neighbors 24 foot wide Danish tine field cultivator and turned the whole field black. Well the bottom anyway the hills were turned whatever color that soil was. I happened to be making hay at the same time. What a cluster f@ck that turned out to be. That fall those beans froze off too if I remember right. Turning those leaves black. But I don’t remember getting docked for green beans, a symptom of frost/freeze on soybeans that elevators discount for. More than the markets were watching then. Sometimes it takes a good weather scare to get prices back in the black.

That’s the bi-polar world of the markets though.

See you then, See you there.

I’ll be watching …….



A May Day

Mayday! Mayday!

I think I’m going down. Downstairs and put another log in the fire. Or was that log in the web. I’m getting old. I get so confused. When in doubt cover every base. So I’ll do both. I’m down to only stocking the stove twice a day. The draft is turned down to almost off so it burns nice and slow. The outside temps have been around forty for three days now so it isn’t hard to keep the old house nice and toasty with a low fire. It’s this time of year you realize how much heat that wood contains. A little goes a long way when all you need is a little. I hope the little heat we had in the soil goes a long way. Until it warms back up. That’s all I’m asking. Now that I’ve planted. We’ll see, last year about this time we had snow. That planted corn did alright. I’m not really worried. Sorry to mislead. Sort of.

Those are happy exclamation points behind those Maydays. Not panicked ones from a plane going down. I’m saying kick up your heels and be glad you’re alive. Watching the newborn calves scamper about exploring their legs, the ground, gravity and such it’s easy to see the happiness that life is. They’re not affected by the drizzle and the cool. They are taking advantage of the cool by running all the faster and playing all the longer. Their moms are busy munching the new grass about the buildings since they broke out the other night. The whole herd jumped the hot wire down by the creek and have made the grand tour around the terraces to arrive back up here about the buildings on the wrong side of the wire. I let them be yesterday and haven’t headed out to roust them yet today. Though it’s definitely in the plans.

As soon as I’m done with these logs. The fire’s off and burning. This log’s about to burn up in the web too. Like a flea in a black hole. FffffT. Forty words amongst forty kazillion. Looking around, nothing left to stoke but the leftovers and the cattle. The cattle are busy eating so that’s what I’m about to do. If I don’t burn it. Have a great May. Have a great day.

It’s May, every day is going to be great. See you then, see you there …….